Monday, April 6, 2009

Educating the Inspectors

I was recently invited by Mike Mendoza, the Building Inspector of Carver, to speak to the Mass. Federation of Building Officials. This two day symposium included building inspectors, state fire officials, the BBRS, the Dept. of Public Safety and many others. It wasn't until a week before I was to speak, that I found out that it was to be six, ninety minute presentations, split up into 2 days. I quickly downloaded the presentation for Home Inspectors from the CSIA website, but realized that I was going to need help with doing 6 presentations, so I called Rich Rua of A Traditional Sweep to see if he could help me out.

Mike Mendoza, Carver Building Inspector, myself and Dan at the end of a presentation.

My reasoning for choosing Rich was because not only is he a Board member, but he is a CSIA instructor and very familiar with this type of presentation. I met with Rich at his home, where Dan and I were treated to a wonderful meal of roast chicken. Normally I wouldn't be bothered telling you what I had for dinner, however it's a different story when you eat at Rich's house.
Rich has spent his "off hours" completely constructing a new "professional" kitchen, complete with an 8 foot hooded stove/grill. But the highlight was to see that he has also built outside. Off his back deck is a restaurant stove/grill and a brick oven that looked like something right out of Bertuccis. It was in this brick oven that Rich broiled up two whole chickens that where the best I've tasted in years. I also want to thank Christine who was a wonderful hostess and helped serve up fresh steamed asparagus and roasted red bliss potatoes with baby carrots. I was having such a good time I almost forgot that I had traveled to Rich's to go over the presentation with him for pointers and to make sure we were all on the same page.

Rich Rua during one of the presentations to Building Officials.

It was only after watching Rich do the first presentation that I realized that he was going to be a lot better at this than I was. Even though the original plan was to split up the presentations, Rich did 90% of them. I did do an introduction at the beginning of each presentation and Dan and I did field questions, however it was Rich who really did all the work and I want to thank him tremendously for his help and participation with this. I am also happy to report that I had the chance to speak to the Vice-President of the Mass. Fed. of Building Officials and was invited to attended their monthly meetings and speak to them again as a group. We were also approached by three other building officials who asked if we would do the presentation for their area building inspectors as well. It was after my first introduction where I had mentioned that there was no licensing for this industry in the State, that a Board member of the BBRS recommended we come see them again. During lunch, I also went over and said hello to Tom Riley, Code Development Mgr. of the BBRS, who has been one of our best proponents in this matter.

During the one break that we had in the two days, Rich, Dan and I attended one of the classes on licensing, given by the Dept. of Public Safety. We learned that as of July 9, 2009, the Home Improvement Contractors complaint division is moving to the Dept. of Consumer Affairs. There have also been some minor changes in HIC and CSL licensing and contracts, and I feel that this may be another seminar the Guild should offer the membership to make sure that we are all in compliance with these rules.

Again, a great big thank you to Rich Rua, and my husband Dan Jacobson for their help in making what I feel was a very successful two days of education to building officials in the State of Mass from the Mass. Chimney Sweep Guild.

Respectfully submitted by,

Jean Jacobson, President

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